As our team is off today, I am reflecting on what it means to be human. I spent time looking at the words that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke during his life.
And today, I am inspired to write.
His passion focused on the quality of life for all and repeats over and over that love is an ingredient we shouldn’t leave out of our lives. And as a white male in today’s world, I severely underestimate the impact of race inequality and it’s gravity on the relationships I formed from the past and those I form into the future.
I grew up in ‘South Columbus’ and while my neighborhood was predominantly black, I have no memories of ‘social boundaries’ and the interaction with our neighbors was an everyday occurrence. I went to local schools that were mixed by decisions made prior from people who sought to balance our classrooms with other kids from different socio-economic backgrounds. I look back and think about how typical my childhood was but I can not remember one time I was persuaded to think another person was less human than me.
And of course, I blame my parents. If they’d taken to time to explore open bigotry and teach me hate at an early age, I would probably understand the world differently. I would find myself in arguments that center around my hate for things, instead of my love for all things.
“If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” – MLKjr
I believe hate is learned. It does not have the same principles as many other emotions. Hate is deep, rooted by inexperience lacking understanding and is usually deprived of simple luxuries like compromise, forgiveness and compassion.
You see, I am not easily persuaded by mass media nor it’s reflection of societal flaws even though I continue to endure it’s decay on our lamented middle class. I have two young white males under my care and everyday I teach love. I hope they challenge themselves throughout their life to question their beliefs and always seek answers to their own questions from many sources. I am responsible for their direction and in it’s simplest form it is only a compass for a lifetime of experience.
“The ultimate measure of a (hu)man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – MLKjr
As I continue to feed my love, I know that many others are feeding their hate. Our nation is one of free expression and it’s tough to cling on to what’s right when there is so much wrong. Hate is an anchor for positive movement and is not going any where. Human Rights and the equality of those rights is something I have taken for granted in my young adulthood. As a middle-aged, millennial white male, I will not assume everything is ‘OK’ but I will continue to live my life the way I always have.
The way my parents raised me.